NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity may have to wait just a few extra days to make its historic first flight on the Red Planet.
Ingenuity, which flew to Mars tucked into the stomach of NASA’s Perseverance rover that efficiently landed on the planet Feb. 18, is about to make historical past with the first managed, powered flight by means of one other planet’s environment.
The interplanetary helicopter was beforehand set to take off no earlier than April 8, however the little craft will now take flight no sooner than April 11, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, announced via Twitter Wednesday (March 31).
Related: Mars helicopter Ingenuity will get 1st style of Red Planet air (video)
“Come fly with us,” JPL tweeted. “#MarsHelicopter is preparing to do something that’s never been done: controlled, powered flight on another planet. Takeoff is now slated for no earlier than April 11, with data arriving on Earth on April 12.”
The helicopter, situated beneath the rover, has been unfurling from Perseverance’s stomach, making ready for the Flight. On March 21, Perseverance dropped a protecting defend, which helped the helicopter to endure the perilous descent by means of Mars’ environment. It takes a little bit of time for the helicopter to unfold and formally deploy for the flight. It takes about six sols, or six Mars days (one sol is equal to about 24 hours and 40 minutes on Earth, or just a little a couple of Earth day), NASA officers mentioned in an announcement.
“It [the helicopter] is stowed sideways, folded up and locked in place, so there’s some reverse origami to do before I can set it down. First though, I’ll be off to the designated ‘helipad,’ a couple days’ drive from here,” Perseverance group members wrote on Twitter March 21.
Once totally and safely deployed on Mars’ floor, the Ingenuity flight marketing campaign will start. The mission group hopes to get the drone flying inside 30 sols (or about 31 Earth days) of this deployment.
Ingenuity is a know-how demonstration. The first of its form, these flights goal to show that it’s doable to fly a managed, powered craft just like the Mars Helicopter on one other world. Ingenuity is about to make just a few quick flights, its solely further onboard know-how being a digital camera. During these flights, Perseverance may even stand by and use its cameras to seize the occasions.
Email Chelsea Gohd at email@example.com or observe her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.